Fermented Shark and other Icelandic Delights

I’m just back from a long weekend in Reykjavik, Iceland and what a foodie treat it turned out to be with some of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever had. I’ve put together a wee selection that we tried – sadly I didn’t manage puffin but I got a few others under my belt including the dreaded fermented shark, whale, horse and wind dried fish!

The first notable meal was in the restaurant at The Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa – one of the tastiest meals I’ve ever had and a couple of firsts – liquorice ice cream (delicious) and Arctic char (like a cross between salmon and trout).





This sign in a Tapas bar made me laugh – clearly after my own heart – if you want a well done steak, order chicken! This was also the bar where the staff decided to reward our custom with an Icelandic aniseed liqueur, Topas, served chilled, it had a distinct Olbas Oil taste to it – something I’m now fully qualified to comment on!


Laekjarbrekka is a traditional Iceland restaurant and one of the oldest buildings in the city, the menu looked amazing so we were really lucky to be able to get a last-minute reservation on a Saturday night.

Fermented Greenland shark, despite it’s strong ammonia smell, wasn’t actually that bad, even if it was served in a sealed jar to keep the smell at bay. This dish is usually eaten on special occasions – shark is poisonous so it’s buried for 6 months to putrefy and then hung up to remove all the toxins and make it safe to consume – personally I’d rather have a good steak! I really loved the wind dried fish dipped in butter and the whale too. My peppered horse sirloin was also really tasty.



And this is my new favourite cocktail, Mezcal and Rhubarb, sipped while admiring the stunning view from Reykjavik’s Sky Bar. It was swiftly followed by another…


Seafood and lamb prevails on traditional menus but all in all you can get any type of cuisine you fancy in Reykjavik – I even spotted Subway, KFC and Taco Bell as well as English Pubs and Irish Bars, not that they were on our agenda. On the whole it’s a bit pricier than the UK but the quality of some of our meals and the price were on a par with most Edinburgh restaurants of a similar type. The wine prices seemed to vary wildly, especially by the bottle, but a decent sized glass often came in around £5 and cocktails about £10.

Now I can’t wait for our return trip!

Non foodie highlights included the Blue lagoon geothermal spa – such a treat and a spectacular 2 hour aurora display. Sadly our whale watching trip got cancelled but we’ll get that in next time, along with geysers and volcanoes.

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